Friday, December 12, 2014

Quilting in motion on the Bailey

I made this little video to demonstrate the Bailey 17 quilter.  I am quilting with one hand and holding the camera with the other.  This is my actual line of vision. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I finished the practice D9P today.  I got into a rhythm and Wilson kept me company.  

This one is my favorite.  It seemed that the machine was working well, I had the frame just right and I was CRUISING !
 Then then needle jammed.  Just like that.  It happened after I rolled the quilt.  I think I tightened the quilt too much.  It took a bit to get the needle out.  It always does.  I remember when I used to jam the needle several times in one session.  This was the first time I did it on this whole quilt.  I must be getting more proficient. 
Frannie joined Wilson after lunch.  She thought I was in the sewing loft at first.  I had to send Wilson out to get her.  She's a bit deaf, so I can't really call her when she is barking at the door of the loft (which I can see from the bottom of the stairs to the apartment). 
 I can see that I must tidy up the apartment.  The pillows and down comforter need homes.  The pillows I can stash in the bureau.  The down comforter needs to go to Sal's

I am heading toward another milestone for the blog: half a million page views.  Might happen this week.  Then what? 

Sunday, December 7, 2014


OK.  I am an old hippie.  So when I took the photo of my sewing loft today and looked at it on the computer, I thought HELP! and the song popped into my head.

But maybe there is no help for this space.

The key is less stuff.  I know that.  Bit by bit.  Pecking away at it.  I could spend time tidying up or I could spend time creatively.  I prefer to create.

I decided to give  a Singer 328 instead of the Monty Ward to the young woman in our Christmas family.  It is a simpler machine is some ways.  I made this draw string bag today.  I used the serger for the edges; otherwise the whole thing was created on the 328.  I feel good about this choice.  I will make a small bag for the outside to hold some little sewing notions and thread.  I will include a free lesson, too.  Of course I will write a little info page about the benefits of vintage over new.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I Should Have Known Better

The Bailey was working so well on the practice quilt.  I was pretty sure that the tension problems I was having had to do with the batting, the frame, the carriage, the Sew Control, the needle, the bobbin winding, the needle, the bobbin case, the bobbin winding,  the needle, the hook, the needle, the frame, the carriage, the needle, the Sew Control, the carriage, the foot.   I addressed each of these issues several times. 

The last time I ran out of bobbin thread I decided to clean the darn thing.  I always clean the hook, the race and the bobbin case with each bobbin change.  It is a class 15 machine so I replace bobbins about every time I wind the quilt onto the take up bar.  Or more often.

This time I took the cover off of the gears and oiled the shaft behind the gears.  The cover comes right off.  See photo below.

  The gears were fine. There was very little lint on the gears.   I would be happier if the gears were both metal.  One is, one is not.  Go figure. 

I oiled and cleaned the shuttle driver shaft.  I just flushed it with oil, ran the machine and wiped away the spewed off dirt.  The second time I did it I found this.

The shuttle driver is clean now.  I flushed some more Tri-flow through there, ran the machine and wiped the spew until the Q tips were no longer dirty.
I also spent some time looking through my stash of hooks and found one that looks very similar.  It was noisier, I thought, so I polished the OEM hook (if you can call it that) that came with the Bailey and put it back in.  The thing is still noisy but the stitches are much improved and I am back to having some fun.

The Bailey needs a permanent home.  I have no room for the Behemoth anywhere in the house.  OK, it will fit in the living room but that would require moving the TV and the couch and a chair.  I am willing.  I think Steven might be, but I haven't suggested it.  For now it is in the guest  apartment.   Next time I need to move it for company I may have to reconsider.
 I pin a piece of fabric on each side so that I can quilt right up to the edge.  The bungie cord clamps help keep the sides taught and if I have enough extra border fabric on the sides, I don't have to do this. 

I found these magnets amidst the South River Parts stash.  I have found a good use for them, I think.

The little white things are L size Magna Glide prewound bobbins.  I am winding Signature thread bobbins.  I do like the Magna Glide.  They produce a nice consistent stitch.  You have a choice of colors too, black or white.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Yes, indeed, it is a chain stitch adapter.  I have four of them in three different variations.  I was absolutely thrilled when I figured out how it works.   I had been basting the zipper leaders to my quilts for easy frame mounting (why does that sound vulgar?).  It isn't too hard to remove the basting but it is so much easier to remove chain stitching  WOW.

This little gold box has been a mystery to me for years.  I learned, somewhere, that it is a chain stitch adapter.  I have had no occasion to use a chain stitch until now.   Two quilts are ready for the frame.   I need a chain stitch capable machine that also winds a nice bobbin.  I cannot stress how important a well wound bobbin is for the Bailey Home Quilter.  My Kenmore 158.1760 winds the nicest bobbin.   I am sad to report that the 1760 is not chain stitch capable.

I was working on a 158.1802 and wondered if the chain stitch adapter would fit.

I removed the needle plate insert and tried one.  It fit.

 I actually removed the shuttle and the race cover to examine just how that silver gizmo fit in the hook.  There is a hole in the hook. Turns out, you don't have to remove the shuttle hook at all.  The adapter snaps right in. 

 Of course, you have to be sure to get the tab on the adapter lined up with the hole so that it snaps in and doesn't spin around.
That's it.  The machine threads the same way as for regular sewing.  The only difference is that at the end of your seam you must turn the balance wheel backwards (ACK!) to release the last stitch. HOLD THE STITCHING! as you remove the work from the machine.   There will be a loop on the bottom.  Pull the thread to the bottom to lock the stitch, other wise the stitches will come out very fast.  AMHIK.
I can't watch the stitch formation because the slide plate must be in place to secure the needle plate insert.  Lady Google, however, provided a link:

The 1802 winds a fine bobbin as well.  But it is not my machine.  It is  Betsy's.  While what's hers is mine and mine is hers, the 1802 is too nice a machine to relegate as a chain stitcher/bobbin winder only. 

An 158.1814 I bought a few years ago accepts the very same chain stitch adapter.  However it will not form a chain stitch unless the SLR is set at about 10.  Set at a longer stitch length, the sucker just won't pick up the thread.  I can live with that but I am not so fond of the 1814.  It has an odd thread path and it just growls when it runs. Plus,  it winds a lousy bobbin.  OK.  It winds an adequate bobbin but not good enough for the Bailey.  AMHIK. 

Because I  have three chain stitch adapters  I looked for machines to match.  I checked out my 158.1803.  Voila, hole in the shuttle.
The  photos above are of the chain stitch adapter in my 158.1803.  It winds a fine bobbin; a very fine bobbin. However  it is impossible to disengage the drive shaft in BW mode without taking the top off of the machine to manually compress the release.   This I can live with.  The top of the machine pops off easily.  I will be using the machine primarily for BW anyway.  When I need it for chain stitching I can engage the drive shaft easily.   It is the perfect combination. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Name the part replacing the bobbin case in the shuttle in the above photo.  You will know you are right if your post is not published right away.  Gotta keep the suspense up !

Friday, November 28, 2014

One Thursday in November

Thanksgiving morning I arose and made a list.  I knocked off 8 of the 13 items  by 10 AM.  I felt downright VIRTUOUS.  True, I included: get dressed, turn up the heat and eat breakfast.  I did not include make the bed.  I should have.  Just the same, my list was shrinking and the day was ever so young.

 Days off, I walk the dogs.  Usually they start to torment me around mid morning. They don't whine.  They don't bark.  They just follow me around relentlessly and look at me, THAT WAY.     Since I had been so diligent already in accomplishing so much, I took them up the hill. (Mind you,  I did  take credit for it and gained much needed endorphins by adding the walk to the list and then, TADA, crossing it off.)

We were forecast to get ten inches of snow Wednesday into Thursday.  I predicted five and I think I was right.  It was a heavy snow that blanketed branches and packed well under foot.  Perfect for snow creature creation, which I did not do.  It wasn't on the list.

It is hunting season.  Thanksgiving day is prime hunting day.  I dressed the dogs accordingly.  Wilson hates his vest.  He loves his walk.  He endures.  Wrigley doesn't care a hoot.  Frannie won't be caught dead in orange.  She prefers red.

Item number 6 on the list was "remove practice quilt from frame."  I did that.  Before I did that I took a couple of shots of the quilting.  I post them here because, where else will I post them?

I practiced and practiced with ink and paper.  I definitely have a hard time twirling right. Doodling helps for sure.  I am pleased with the stitches.  The machine seems to be working well.  The frame is much better now too.  Steven attached leg extensions and replaced the blocks I had been using for added height.  I tried a different carriage but went back to the original, wooden one.  The so called upgraded carriage created too much vibration. 

 The DNP is ready to go.  If we get a delivery of propane tomorrow,  I may be able to quilt.  If not, I will work on machines.  I need to service a Kenmore 158.1814.  I have it set up for chain stitching.    It is a noisy sucker, likely needs oil.  I use it to attach the cloth leaders to the quilt.  I also need a class 15 machine for bobbin winding.  I don't use the BW on the Bailey.  I don't like to re-thread the machine that often.

Yes, you noticed the not so subtle reminder in each photo.  Those of us who are white must end our oblivion.  Racism exists in our country.  The tragic events in Ferguson, MO indicate so.  The culture of violence and injustice must end.  NOW.